How to Transfer Car Ownership
If you’re parting with a car or van, there are a few things you must do before moving it on. Our motoring experts will show you how to transfer car ownership, whether you’re selling, putting it in someone else’s name or scrapping it.
Saying goodbye to your motor only takes four steps when you sell with us, and we'll handle the transfer of ownership for you; if you’re interested, get an instant valuation today.
What you need
To transfer ownership of your car, you will need:
• The V5C logbook
• The 11-digit reference number from the logbook
• Access to the DVLA website
If you’re transferring by post, you will also need the DVLA address:
What if I don’t have a V5C logbook?
Many dealerships or buyers won’t take your car when selling without a V5C logbook. Whilst you can sell a car with us if the previous owner is deceased, we always recommend having the V5C logbook on-hand.
In the situation where your car has been sold, contact the DVLA via post with:
• Your name and address
• Vehicle registration
• Make and model
• Date of sale
• Name and address of the new keeper
If you can’t locate your V5C, but are the registered keeper of the car, a duplicate logbook can be ordered from the DVLA for £25. You will need:
• The registration number
• VIN or chassis number (located on the dashboard corner or door pillar near the driver’s seat)
• Name and postcode that was on the V5C
Registered keeper vs. owner
Before changing car ownership, you first need to know if you’re the registered keeper or owner. Whilst someone can be both, it’s important to know the legal differences between them before transferring car ownership.
The keeper is responsible for running and maintaining the car on a daily basis, including the MOT and tax. When using the car, the keeper is also the main point of contact for any legal queries.
You can identify the keeper of a car by checking its V5C logbook. This document isn’t proof of ownership, but it will identify who the legally registered keeper is.
The owner of the car is the individual who registered it with the DVLA and should possess an original receipt for the vehicle. A common example is a company car; the employer would be considered the owner, but the employee is the registered keeper.
Whether you’re selling to us, a dealership or private buyer, the V5C logbook needs to be filled in when changing car ownership.
Sold your car
If you’ve sold your car to a dealership or motor trader, you can transfer ownership online via the DVLA website; this will be done automatically for you when selling with us. Make sure you still have the green ‘new keeper’ slip in the V5C logbook when you present it to the buyer.
If you’ve sold your car privately to an individual or business, you’ll also need the ‘new keeper’ slip, but the remainder of the logbook will then be destroyed after informing the DVLA of the change in ownership.
Ownership of a sold car can be transferred by post:
• If you’ve sold the car to a dealership or trader, they must fill in the yellow ‘sell, transfer or part exchange’ slip. This is then sent to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BD
• If you’ve sold your car privately, the V5C logbook must be filled in and posted to the same DVLA address as above
Putting a car in someone else’s name
When you want to transfer car ownership and put it in someone else’s name without a transaction taking place, this can also be done via the DVLA website. The new keeper will then be considered the ‘buyer’ in this scenario.
You can instead send the complete V5C logbook by post to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BD.
Scrapped your car or had it written off
You’ll need to inform the DVLA if your car has been scrapped or written off. If you haven’t given the logbook to the scrapyard or insurance company, it can be destroyed.
When you’re informing the DVLA by post, the scrapyard or insurance business must complete the yellow ‘sell, transfer or part exchange’ form before sending it to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BD.
Other car ownership questions
Are there any penalties for not telling the DVLA when changing ownership?
Because the registered keeper is legally responsible for running the car, it’s extremely important that the DVLA is aware when this changes. Failure to do so can result in a £55 fine; this is reduced to £35 if the penalty is paid within 17 days.
If the fine isn’t paid within this time, you may be taken to court and be given a further fine up to £1000.
Does car tax transfer across?
No, existing car tax will not move across to the new registered keeper.
You can get any remaining full-month tax refunded to you via cheque.
Can I transfer ownership to a family member?
You can! Follow the same steps as you would when registering ownership under a new name.
If the car is going to be staying off the road, it must be declared with a SORN (Statutory Off-Road Notification).
Transferring car ownership is only one part of selling a car. If you need to remove a private number plate, our expert guide will take you through this process step-by-ste